Thursday, January 2, 2014

Trees in the Snow (Caspar David Friedrich)


We cut down dead oaks to reopen the old mine,
One hundred years abandoned, a collapsed shaft,
And no promise the old diggers hadn't been good
At their work and found every nugget worth a dime.
My partner wasn't afraid of the dark and laughed
When I said, you go first beneath the earthen hood.
That was twenty years ago and old Caspar died
Before a single shovel was turned. "Christ!" he cried,
And, running from the shadows, impaled his right eye
On a six inch nail jutting from a rotting beam.
Having pulled him from the ruin, lantern held high,
I entered the darkness to see what he had seen.
There was a mirror there, neither real nor a dream.
I saw my self -- or at least myself if I'd been
A few hundred years old -- pluck out my eye and scream.

The Reach of Time (Julia Guerin)


All the clocks drowned in the gutter of time,
In wax melted from a trillion tapers,
The hours from face to face no longer rhyme.
Lady Gone, her head done up in papers
(She turned blue when her capillaries froze),
Buffs the planets on her thigh with a rose.
Our red Lady of Soon, pregnant with love,
Runs and with her hand reaches above
The horizon to push the moon away,
And instead erases its ageless gray.
The sky behind leaks through. Her baby's birth
Will be ballyhooed with a lunar frown
And Gone will steal the infant for her own.
No matter. Soon is soon pregnant with Earth.